Some NBA Players Find It Hard Thrive Overseas

Ballers like Detroit Piston forward DaJuan Summers have had trouble adjusting to a foreign lifestyle and the European game.

Posted: 11/03/2011 05:41 PM EDT
Filed Under Orlando Magic

Since the NBA lockout, several players have picked up and taken their talents overseas to hone their games and keep the paychecks rolling.

But least a few NBA players have quickly reversed course and returned home, according to Yahoo! Sports.
San Antonio Spurs forward DeJuan Blair played in four games in Russia before he and the team agreed to a mutual separation. Orlando Magic forward Earl Clark signed to play with a team in China but left before he ever played a game.
And then there is Detroit Pistons forward DaJuan Summers, who lasted exactly four games with an Italian team before being given his walking papers. Summers found it difficult to live in a small foreign city where drivers are more reckless and everyone speaks an unfamiliar language.
Then there was basketball. Summers just didn’t seem to mesh well with his club, European powerhouse Montepaschi Siena. So Summers’s advice to any other NBA player looking at overseas playing opportunities is to go in with their eyes wide open.
“I would tell them to be prepared for any and everything because it’s a different world than what you are used to,” Summers told Yahoo! Sports in a phone interview from Italy.
This seemed like a great move for Summers, who had found minutes hard to come by in Detroit. But he ran into the same issue with Siena once the regular season began.
The team then let him go, citing things not working out as the reason.
“They were telling me how much they wanted me to be a part of the team,” Summers said to Yahoo! Sports. “With those things considered, I thought it was a good move to get that exposure with the top Italian League, as well as a top Euroleague team.”
It turned out not to be the case. So it’s back to the lockout.

Contact Terrance Harris at or follow him on Twitter @Terranceharris.

(Photo: Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)